Holiday Gift Suggestions from the Conservation Department

Doing your holiday shopping at the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources may seem a bit strange, but here are a few suggestions that might help you with gift selection.

Anyone with hunters or anglers on their list knows the vast selection of possible gift items that are available from sporting goods stores. The Conservation Department emphasizes items that promote safety – hunter orange caps and vests, safety straps and harnesses to use when hunting from tree stands; flashlights that not only light the way through the woods but also indicate the hunter’s presence to others.

There are many items that contribute to a hunter’s comfort and convenience, from hand warmers to cushioned seats to packs or bags for carrying necessary gear. The same stores usually carry a large selection of supplies for anglers – rods, reels, nets, lures, tackle boxes, and everything else needed for all kinds of fishing.

One of the most appreciated presents available is a lifetime license. A one-time purchase will cover years of hunting or fishing – or both. Lifetime licenses are available as freshwater fishing only, saltwater fishing only, or hunting only. Various combination licenses are also available. What better way could be found to encourage a young hunter or angler? Give them a lifetime of hunting and fishing adventures! Call (334) 242-3832 for an application; or easier still, order on-line at

Know an aspiring young hunter who needs to take the hunter education certification course? The Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division offers a way that allows students to obtain partial credit for the hunter education course by completing an interactive CD-ROM.  To obtain a hunter education course certificate, students must complete the interactive CD and attend a one-day hands-on field day.  These hunter education CDs are available free at each County Extension Service Office and at Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Offices.

Encourage a sister, wife, daughter, mother, or girlfriend to discover outside activities. Give her a gift certificate for a Becoming an Outdoors Woman weekend workshop. The workshops are held the first weekends of March and October each year and are designed to teach outdoors skills in a friendly and comfortable setting. For many women, this has been the incentive they’ve needed to discover for themselves the exciting experiences of outdoor activities. Call 1-800-262-3151 for information about the Becoming an Outdoors Woman program and to arrange for a gift certificate.

Buy everyone on your list a gift that continues giving five times a year -- a gift subscription to Outdoor Alabama magazine. The official publication of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the magazine is dedicated to bringing you the best of Alabama’s wildlife, natural diversity, outdoor adventure and scenic beauty. Subscribe on-line or call the subscription service toll-free at 1-877-339-0508 to place your order.

Alabama’s State Parks offer great get-away opportunities that make excellent gifts for singles, couples, or families. The special Eagle Awareness weekend programs at Lake Guntersville State Park in January, and the Fins, Feathers, & Flowers weekend at Lakepoint State Park in February are fun-filled weekends that would be appreciated by any nature lover. The State Parks also have other special packages that make welcome gifts. Visit or call 1-800-ALA-PARK or (334) 242-3154 to find out what’s available and to make reservations.